BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):Director of Cricket, Richard Pybus, chairman of selectors, Clive Lloyd, and newly appointed West Indies head coach, Phil Simmons, will sit down with coaches from the six regional franchises today to discuss crucial matters ahead of November’s start of the Professional Cricket League (PCL).Pybus, who will chair the meeting, said the coaches’ conference would allow every coach to be on the same page. Conveying their challenges while also networking to share tips and advice with each other.”It’s the first sitting of the franchise coaches with us and to get them all aware of what are our common goals as we approach the second season of operation of the PCL,” Pybus said.”It is very important that they also have the opportunity to share the challenges which they face at the franchise level, as we work together to build a world-class cricket-performance system.”At the end of the day, the goal is for us to be producing international quality players for the West Indies and we need to be able to identify what challenges we face and streamline the system, so that it works efficiently.”He added: “It’s also an opportunity for the coaches to network with fellow coaches and take practical examples back to their franchises, so that we are able to advance West Indies cricket.”Simmons, a former West Indies player, said the conference would be an important one as issues of training methodologies, fitness standards, and player evaluations would be discussed.”This is one of the first things for which I asked when I was appointed West Indies head coach, so that we can outline to everybody where we want them to be and where we want the players to be,” said Simmons.The conference will be attended by Hendy Springer and Dexter Toppin of Barbados Pride; Esuan Crandon and Rayon Griffith of Guyana Jaguars, Junior Bennett of Jamaica Scorpions, Reginald Benjamin of Leeward Islands Hurricanes, Gus Logie of Trinidad & Tobago Red Force and Ian Allen of Windward Islands Volcanoes.The PCL, the West Indies Cricket Board’s first class season, was staged for the first time last year with Guyana Jaguars lifting the title.
Graham-Royal, who became principal of the institution in 2014, said fixing the pool will be her next ‘big’ project and said she does not intend to begin the project until she is sure she has all the money to complete it as she does not want to start and not be able to finish. “(I need) at least three quarters of it because it wouldn’t make sense; it means work would have stopped,” she told The Gleaner. Students of the school, who train to be teachers of physical education, must now use a tiny pool in Old Harbour for swimming lessons. “So I have to pay more than $10,000 monthly for them to learn to swim. You’re not a complete PE teacher until you’re able to swim,” Graham-Royal, herself a graduate of the G.C. Foster College, who later studied abroad, said. “When I went to the University of Mainz in Germany to study, I could not graduate until I learned to swim,” she added. Meanwhile, Graham-Royal also noted that the institution as also losing money as there were some interested parties who would have used the facility had it been operational. “Just this morning some students from a university in Canada called. They had a contingent of 50 and wanted to come for the summer,” she said. “So we are missing all of that. We really do need some private sector injection. We can’t do it otherwise,” she concluded. GETTING THE MONEY The state of the swimming pool at the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport has been a sore point for decades. Current principal of the institution, Dr Joyce Graham-Royal, said it will cost $91 million to repair the facility, which has never been used since it was built in 1980. In late 2014, Minister of Sport Natalie Neita-Headley had announced that Government would be donating the funds to repair the pool via the Sports Development Foundation. However, Graham-Royal told The Gleaner yesterday that she had since learned that the funds, which had been earmarked for the pool work, had been spent on refurbishing the synthetic track at the institution, which was reopened last October. The track cost $171 million to repair. Graham-Royal said because of the clay soil at the Spanish Town-based sporting college, repairing the track had cost much more than the projected figure. Successive principals over the last few years have threshed around with the idea and as recently as 2008, the estimate to repair the Olympic-sized swimming and diving pools was at $50 million.